Tom Gagen is the CEO of Sutter Medical Center Sacramento. He’s in Washington with regional business leaders for the Metro Chamber of Commerce’s "Cap to Cap" trip. He says this year health care reform is playing a bigger role.
“Last couple years it’s pretty much been off everybody’s radar screen, and now I think it’s there.”
Gagen’s leading a delegation of about 30 people from Sacramento region hospitals. They have meetings with key lawmakers, health care lobbyists and think tanks.
Gagen says the recession has led to more uninsured patients in Sutter’s Emergency Room. Take for example the numbers over the same two month period in the last few years:
“In 2005 we saw about 200 indigent people or those who really can’t pay for their bill in the emergency room at Sutter Medical Center. And in 2009 we saw 700.”
Gagen says he hopes this information will help craft the new, sweeping health care legislation the president has called for this year.